The Affordable Care Act says health insurers can’t deny coverage for someone or charge them more if they have a pre-existing condition.
State senators approved a local measure 21-14 Thursday night that would protect folks in case that law is weakened or repealed. It now heads to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's desk.
The bill is essentially a fail-safe in case President Donald Trump’s administration further dismantles the ACA or dissolves it all together.
Democratic Representative Liz Thomson of Albuquerque sponsored the measure.
“People are really worried,” Thomson said. “There’s a lot of talk out there that the Trump administration is not going to protect us and so I felt like New Mexicans needed to be protected.”
A quarter of New Mexican adults under 65 have a pre-existing condition, according to an analysis by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. If it weren’t for the Affordable Care Act, insurers could reject people for having things like autism or a heart condition.
The measure died in committee earlier this week, but then the committee chair changed his vote, keeping it alive.
Support for KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, and from KUNM listeners like you.